Beauty and the Beast: Managing the Coast Along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

The coast is what inspires and motivates the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee. The environmental, social, recreation, tourism and economic values of the coast benefit us all. The coast also faces plenty of challenges, from weeds, litter and erosion to climate change. We all have to do more to achieve a sustainable coast and community.

Overseen by a skills-based volunteer committee and delivered by some 25 passionate staff, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (a.k.a. GORCC) raises more than 80 per cent of its $5 million annual budget by operating two major caravan parks in Torquay and Lorne.

All funds raised by GORCC are reinvested in the coast – protecting natural and cultural values, providing recreation, tourism and community infrastructure, and minimizing the impacts of human use on the coast.

Managing the coastline along the Great Ocean Road requires a mix of skill, courage, patience and a thick skin. Thirty-seven kilometres and 500 hectares of coastal Crown land, 150 beach access points, 24 public toilets, 32 car parks, 25 kilometres of walking tracks, more than 270 weed species and plenty more means the coastline requires regular attention to meet coastal and community objectives.

Collaboration across boundaries with community groups, government agencies, other land managers and the general public is critical to success, but often easy to say and hard to achieve.

There are plenty of challenging issues like summer visitor numbers, growing populations, dogs on beaches, infrastructure upgrades and commercial activities in a time and place of climate (and community) change.

There is nothing like a quiet day in the office managing the beauty and the beast of the coastline along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

Posted by David Clarke, CEO

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